There are certain articles of clothing that have the potential to make or break the dressing reputation of any man. As I am speaking from the point of view of a college-aged male, the following advice applies less to older men.
The college-aged male needs only three basic kinds of shoes, all of which should be worn for three different and distinct occasions: athletic, dress, and casual.
Of course, boots and sandals may also be necessary, but they are less important. Also, style does not necessarily have to come with an expensive price tag. The key to young men’s shoes, as with most clothes, lies in researching where to get fashionable items for a fair price. Below I have broken down the advice into three categories.
Athletic. Contrary to the belief of many college men, athletic, or tennis shoes are not appropriate footwear all-day, every day. These shoes should be used strictly for athletic activities like running or going to the gym. Otherwise, ditch the athletic shoes for nice, casual-wear shoes. As far as athletic shoes go, the selection is endless and the fashion rules are few. Use good sense in choosing athletic shoes that do not directly clash with your workout gear and that are comfortable. When it comes to athletic shoes, deals can be found online, as well as in the majority of shoe stores, although getting huge discounts on big name brands is rare.
Casual Shoes. Casual shoes are by far the lesser-known genre of the men’s shoe world. Separate from athletic shoes, casual shoes are something along the lines of Sperry’s, leather lace-up shoes, or classy tennis shoes. These shoes can easily be found for cheap prices at most clothing stores, particularly H&M and Zara.
In fact, I picked up a pair of red casual shoes for around only $18 at Urban Outfitters. The key with purchasing these shoes is making sure they match many outfits, and they can be used in casual situations, but are a step up in style from athletic shoes. If looking to spend a little more, leather lace-up shoes are perfect for both casual outfits and dressy occasions, and will ooze style for the college-aged male.
Dress. Every college male has a pair of awkward dress shoes lying around somewhere. It is by far time to ditch the penny loafers of the 90’s and enter the world of 21st century men’s dress shoes. These include shoes in the Oxford style, as well and plain leather loafers, minus the penny and any design. These can be used in many occasions, and marry the dressy aspect with the young and hip aspect. For college dates and formal events, a leather loafer without any design is sure to impress. Steve Madden has a great selection of men’s dress shoes, and they are often on sale for 20-40% off.
With a little bit of research and dedication, shoes no longer need to be a trouble spot in a young man’s wardrobe.